M A I N   N E W S

Kalam for NRI-funded research
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, January 9
President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam today exhorted overseas Indians to pool in their intellectual and financial resources to help fund research to mitigate the effects of natural calamities like earthquakes.

Addressing the concluding function of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas here today, Dr Kalam called upon the establishment of Overseas Indian Research Foundation with a seed capital of $ 100 million.

The President felt that the foundation could identify institutions of excellence and obtain the services of top scientists. He added that they should be provided with the environment and resources to do research on this subject.

“The results sometime may take long... but it will make the whole planet a better place to live in,” he remarked.

The President felt that overseas Indians could do a lot in lifting the country’s 260 million people above the poverty line.

Dr Kalam identified five focus areas — education and healthcare, agriculture and agro-food processing, development of infrastructure, information and communication technology and critical technologies and strategic industries.

Dr Kalam called for connecting village clusters through quality transport, telecommunication systems and education networks.

Recounting his meeting with South African leader Nelson Mandela last year, Dr Kalam said when he had put forth a query to Mr Mandela regarding the pioneers of anti-apartheid movement in that country, he responded spontaneously: “Of course M.K. Gandhi. India gave us M.K. Gandhi and we gave you back Mahatma Gandhi after two decades.”

Describing Gandhi as the best example of a “Bharatiya pravasi”, he reminded the overseas Indians that it was January 9, 1914 when Gandhi returned to India from South Africa with his experience of fighting against apartheid system to launch the Indian Freedom movement.


Kalam presents awards  to NRIs
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, January 9
President APJ Abdul Kalam today presented the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman to 15 prominent Indians at the conclusion of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas here today.

The recipients of the awards were M. Arunachalam (Hong Kong) and Yusuffali M.A. (UAE) in the field of business; Ms. Amina Cachalia (South Africa), Sir (Dr.) J.K. Chande (Tanzania), Mr Ahmed Kathrada (South Africa) and Mr Basdeo Pandey (Trinidad and Tobago) in the field of public affairs; Prof Alokeranjan Dasgupta (Germany) and Mr Vikram Seth (UK) for literature; Prof. Sunil Khilnani (USA) and Lord Bhikhu Chhotalal Parekh (UK) for political studies and science; Prof. Jagdish Bhagwati (USA) for economics; Dr Sam Pitroda (USA) for technology; Mr. Manoj Night Shyamalan (USA) for cinema; Mr Vijay Singh (Fiji) for sports and Dr. Sant Singh Virmani (Phillippines) for agricultural science. 


Amarinder woos NRIs of Punjabi origin
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, January 9
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh laid out the red carpet for investors of Indian origin at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas which concluded here today. Among the many sops he provided included special fast-track revenue courts to solve the problems of the NRI.

He said he would take up the matter with the Punjab and Haryana High Court. He said the fast-track revenue courts would be set up at Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur.

“We have already amended the East Punjab Rent Restriction Act, 1949, and the Punjab Security of Land Tenures Act to secure quick judicial redressal of problems of the NRIs. These amendments enable NRIs to take possession of their residential, commercial and agricultural properties by way of summary proceedings”, the Chief Minister said.

He said a “police on air” helpline for redressal of grievances was being provided on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month for the NRIs. The service at present available for Punjabis in Canada would be extended to the USA and the UK as well.

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